Don’t let age get in your way – I just turned 65 and ride every week, both on the road and on our great bike paths. I love getting out and enjoy the ride. At 65 I ride the hills, for the challenge, and to say “I did it”!
I could write a book about my progress with riding, but I’ll keep the story short.
My journey to the 7 Peaks began 2007, even though I hadn’t even heard of them!
A couple of friends asked if we wanted to go for a ride in France. Of course we said yes, thinking that it would be lovely riding through the vineyards etc. Then they mentioned that we would be staying near Mont Ventoux, which at that time I had never heard of.
Better practice and train, I thought to myself. So borrowed a bike and set off, got 4 kilometres before falling off and cracking my new helmet.
Undaunted, I got a new helmet, bought my own bike and kept on going. Trip to France was a success, and I just couldn’t stop riding!
We now skip to 2015, past several new bikes, rides through the Dandenongs and trips to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under (spectator only of course).
Then someone mentioned the 7 Peaks, which was free to enter, and you did it in your own time. Sounded good, so we signed up for 2014-2015 7 Peaks. After all we had ridden up the One in Twenty and Montrose to Olinda often enough.
No scheduled times can be a trap…we sort of did Lake Mountain, then on a weekend at Bright headed off up Mt Hotham, which proved to be somewhat more difficult, especially starting after morning tea on a hot day, and no water stations. And then it was Easter.
So for the 2015 -2016 season we got organized, and planned even! Mapped out the calendar, there’s grandchildren, visiting overseas relatives, visiting interstate relatives etc, working spouses and all this times two. With dates locked in, tick, water bottle carrier and support crew locked in, tick. Training rides through winter, tick.
A bit more training, and started early November 2015 with Marysville. A lovely ride with the first 4 or 5 ks the hardest. After the ride you can enjoy a nice coffee on the balcony and take in the view.
I loved Mt Buffalo, what a lovely ride!! Scenery, birds, trees, quite roads – it had everything. With each successful ride I found myself believing that the 7 Peaks were indeed possible so my confidence grew……………
Mt Buller was tackled one Monday morning when we all had a day off. Early start from Melbourne meant that we were well and truly at the top for a late morning tea. Again some pinchy bits but a lovely ride with nearly no traffic and the sun nice and low and the birds singing, followed again by an exhilarating descent.
Mt Hotham was a lovely surprise this time – even did a bit of a warm up first to get the legs and lungs working before we tackled it. Woweee, another great ride completed.
The Falls Creek ride is another favorite of mine having spent years crossing country skiing on those mountains. Falls is a great easy ride and the decent is worth the ride up.
We were ticking off the hills with only Mt Baw Baw to go. My biggest concern was being able to rest to bring the heart rate down, take in some water then re clipping back in on the steep road. It’s short, it’s sharp and oh my gosh we did it in under one hour!
So today sitting here thinking about the 7 Peaks I can sum my riding season up with the following: We discovered that you don’t have to travel to Europe to ride interesting hills and rewarding flat roads. We have beautiful hills, outstanding scenery and great places to stay. If you believe (after a bit of training on hills) you can ride Mt Baw Baw, you will be successful. Finally, don’t let age get in your way…!